The language has 49 characters in its alphabet and is phonetic. The Kannada character set is almost identical to that of other Indian languages. The number of written symbols, however, is far more than the 49 characters in the alphabet, owing to the fact that different characters can be combined to form compound characters (ottaksharas). Each written symbol in the Kannada script corresponds with one syllable, as opposed to one phoneme in languages like English. The Kannada writing system is an abugida, with consonants appearing with an inherent vowel.
The alphabet is classified into three categories: swaras (or vowels), vyanjanas (or consonants) and yogavaahas (part vowel/part consonants).
Note: Unicode character entities used below. You will need a font that supports Kannada to see the characters. English transliterations based on Unicode character names listed next to symbol.
There are fourteen vowels (swaras): ಅ (a), ಆ (aa), ಇ (e), ಈ (ee), ಉ (u), ಊ (uu), ಋ (rr), ೠ (between rruu and rrii); ಎ (a~), ಏ (ea), ಐ (ai), ಒ (o), ಓ (oo), ಔ (ou)
Two types of consonants are identified in Kannada—the structured consonants and the unstructured consonants. The structured consonants are classified according to where the tongue touches the palate of the mouth and are classified accordingly into five structured groups. The five consonants in each structured group, in order, are voiceless, voiceless aspirate, voiced, voiced aspirate, and nasal.
Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Want to know more? Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:
Press Releases |
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m